Playful Learning Follow-Up

I wanted to follow up on my post the other day. I have uploaded more apps to the Kurio and tried out one of the activities in the Playful Learning book.

Kurio Fun

My addiction to Where’s My Water? is a terrifying thing, so I’ve been trying to suggest we “explore the other neat games and apps on the Kurio.” Emily has been game and I have downloaded and tested out several fun learning games for Emily and achieved some success with her trying them out as well…

  • Picasso Kaleidoscope – this was recommended on Playful Learning’s blog
  • Spirograph – cool, but not as fun as the Picasso Kaleidoscope
  • ASL Dictionary
  • 1st Grade Learning Games (patterns, ordering, word bingo, compound words, advanced counting, add & subtract, contractions, spelling, fractions, and verbs, nouns and adjectives) – I think this will keep her attention a little while
  • Kids Measurement (length, time, weight, money) – it’s basic, with simple graphics, she may or may not like it, we haven’t tried it out yet
  • InstaSpanish Kids – it looks good and seems to emphasize pronunciation as well as spelling in Spanish (phonetic Spanish, who knew?!)
  • Writing Cats – a game I have yet to explore since the child has run off with the Kurio after playing in the snow for the last two hours

Most of the Mr. Nussbaum learning apps are a little advanced for Emily right now. They came built-in, but I think that they could prove challenging later.

I’m planning on setting aside time each morning for us to explore a new and different app – and go through all of them, incorporating good old-fashioned fun games in with the learning games. There are also short stories and a several hours of little cartoon videos on this thing – we will be busy learning its secrets for a long time!

Our First Playful Learning Project

I’m still reading the book, but by yesterday I had managed to get through Nurturing Young Authors and The Joy of Reading chapters. Emily was sitting next to me on the couch playing with her Kurio and I turned to her and asked, “Hey, would you like to make an alphabet photo book?”

She perked up, “Sure! How do we do that?”

“Well, we have to find things that start with the different letters of the alphabet and take a picture of them. Then I’ll get the photos developed and we will put them all in a book. Let’s start with A, what things around the house start with A?”

“An apple!” she jumped up and ran over to the bowl of fruit. “But we need to write the letter down too to use with the picture.”

“Okay,” I said, “here is some paper. Why don’t you use one little square for each letter? Write it nice and big, okay?”

We got inventive, especially when it came to Q (we decided on quick, and took a picture of our fence-scaling puppy) and X (we took a picture of Emily running in place “extra-quick”) and had a great time running around the house taking pictures. Later, I picked up the photos from Walmart’s photo lab and put it in this little handmade book. I’m still trying to convince Emily to decorate the book further (“No Mama, nothing on the front, and no writing inside.”)

Emily is still having difficulty with some of her letters. She drew the J, M, and N backwards. I didn’t correct her, other than to say that was one way of doing it. According to what I’m reading in Playful Learning, it is far more important to get her writing which is something she has been rather loathe to do. So we will work on that in the weeks to come. I think some more books like this might be in order – even if I have to do some or even most of the writing, the more we do it, the more exposure, practice and interest she will have.

Playful Learning Blog

As I mentioned above, the author of Playful Learning has a blog with plenty of wonderful posts. I am planning on LOTS more crafting and cooking opportunities with Emily over the next few months – all of which will incorporate reading, writing and arithmetic – but well hidden beneath the fun!

Sounding it Out VS Reading

I encouraged Emily to play a little with the Sight Words Sentence Builder on the Kurio this morning. It says a short sentence out loud and drops the words in a jumble. Emily’s job was to pull the words up to the line and replicate the sentence she had just heard spoken.

She was doing great – and I mentioned that she seemed to be having no problems reading the words. “I’m not reading them,” she said, “I’m sounding them out.”

“But that’s reading, honey!” I protested. She just looked at me and shook her head.

And here is where I see the real problem. It isn’t that Emily can’t read – it is that she thinks that reading is only what she sees me or her dad do – reading out loud without any hiccups, without any delays or confusion. The other, slowly sounding out a word, is not reading to her. How do I, as her parent and teacher, convince her otherwise?

That seems to be my challenge in the New Year…

Happy New Year’s Everyone!

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